Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published April 2014.

Letting Go of the Golden Glow

Alcohol covered up a lot of his inner conflict but left wreckage in its wake. Sobriety enabled him to live a different life

Last Christmas Eve was the fortieth anniversary of my coming out as the gay man I always was but could never allow myself to be because of shame and guilt over what I thought was the most perverse of perversions. My coming out was a gift of sobriety and occurred a little more than two years after I made a decision, at my first meeting, to try this thing called one-day-at-a-time sobriety. That end to daily drinking, which I have maintained ever since through the grace of God, was my first gift from God and Alcoholics Anonymous.

I was raised to believe that men loved women and you had to hit them once in a while or they wouldn't respect you. I came of age in the 1950s when there was no support for being gay. There were no openly gay celebrities and politicians and no gay pride parades. Gay people, or those thought to be, were teased, beaten, arrested or killed.

-- Jerry F.

Cerritos, California

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